The housing crunch in Western Australia worsened in December, with the supply of properties for sale and rent in Western Australia hitting a 12-year low, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.
Data from reiwa.com showed the number of properties for sale in the state dropped to 6931 at the end of December.
That’s the lowest figure recorded since August 2010, when there were 6858 listings and the state’s population was 22 per cent lower than its current level.
While a dip was to be expected given the festive season slowdown, the December figures represented a 10.8 per cent drop on the year prior, REIWA Chief Executive Officer Cath Hart said.
Some of the reduction was likely due to issues in the construction sector, but could also be due to rising interest rates, she explained.
She added that Western Australia’s housing supply was unlikely to improve in the short term.
“While our members are reporting they have sellers who are planning to list in January, we do
not expect listings to rise significantly while interest rate uncertainty remains,” Ms Hart said.
The number of properties for rent on reiwa.com was 1443 at the end of December,
22 per cent lower than the 1870 reported at the end of November and 23.1 per cent less than
the same time in 2021.
“Rental listings also usually experience a seasonal decline, but we haven’t seen numbers this
low since early November 2010 when there were 1415 properties available for rent on
reiwa.com,” Ms Hart said.
Returning investors could ease shortfall
Despite this reduction there were signs that the long-term health of WA’s rental market was improving.
“It’s been very challenging for tenants but there are some positive signs for the year ahead,” Ms Hart said.
“After seeing investors leaving the market in the past two years, with more than 18,000 fewer
rentals now since the peak in January 2021, bond data shows the decline has eased and the
number of rentals in WA has been fairly stable since October.”
There were also early indications that investors were returning, which would help add supply to the rental market.
“Our members are also reporting increasing interest, particularly from eastern state investors
who see value in WA’s house prices and the potential for strong rental returns,” Ms Hart said.
“This is a positive indication in regard to boosting rental stock levels but it will take some time for
this to flow on to tenants.”
While the number of properties for sale and rent are at similar levels to 2010, the state’s population
has grown since then.
Strong growth suburbs revealed
Ms Hart said the stability of Perth’s home prices, confirmed by the latest release of CoreLogic data, was “good news” for buyers and sellers.
CoreLogic’s December Home Value Index update showed values in Perth rose 0.1 per cent over the month.
The city’s top suburbs for median price growth in December were Applecross (up 4.9 per cent to $1.8 million), Gwelup (up 4.2 per cent to $1.13 million), Balcatta (up 3.1. per cent to $570,000), South Yunderup (up 2.8 per cent to $533,000), Wembley (up 2.8 per cent to $1.48 million) and Bicton (up 2.2 per cent to $1.38 million).